Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Year's Worth of Guilt

I'm always especially sad to see the end of a long weekend. Oh well...

So last Friday was my first Friday back at work and Miss A's first day with a real and actual sitter instead of her Auntie or Dada. I was of course very worked up about it, cause that's just how I am. I made up a list of everything I had to make sure that I packed for her 9-4 day without me. Milk, bottle, cereal, Cheerios, lunch, popcorn twists, diapers, wipes and Tylenol.

I was up early so I had time to do everything I needed to do. Pump, breakfast, makeup, hair, make lunch, pack breast pump. Get Little A up, dressed and have our morning cuddle/nurse. AND we left on time and arrived on time. Thank heaven for small miracles. Baby A was thrilled to be there because hey, she loves people she doesn't know and there were toys set out in containers on the floor. She immediately crawled over to them, looked up at me with those big blue eyes and smiled. I said “Bye, bye.” and headed back out to my car.

Something strange started to happen as I was crossing the street to get to my car. My eyes started stinging and then they began to water. Soon there were tear drops rolling down my cheeks and my throat was aching. Crying. I was crying because I was leaving my baby for the day so that I could go to work. This was unexpected. Allow me to sound like a total cold hearted Mama here and admit to you all that I have NEVER cried when leaving Baby A before. I left her with my sister when she was 3 and ½ months old and I didn't cry. Feel guilty, yes. Feel sad, yes. Cry? No. When Peter and I have rarely gone out on dates and left her with one of her Aunties I didn't bat an eye. Her name might have come up on our date and I was happy to see her little face when the time came to pick her up but I was grateful for the time away. So you can see why this sudden emotional episode caught me off guard.

I had nearly composed myself when I walked into my workplace. That's when I started to wonder what exactly had set me off. Was it the fact that I was leaving her with someone new? Had the stress just suddenly caught up with me? Was I overtired? Was I just having difficulty coping with the change in our schedule? Whatever it was it made me take notice of just how much my love for that little munchkin has grown. I used to enjoy the chance to get out, have a break, catch my breath. I felt unsure of myself as a mother, thinking that I must not be cut out for it or else I wouldn't be so eager to get away. I felt burdened, resentful and exhausted. And worst of all, I had done it to myself so I had no one but myself to blame. I actually felt sorry for my sweet baby who hadn't asked to be brought into this world only to have a mother that couldn't seem to cope with the responsibility of it all.

But those tears I cried on Friday, they washed away a year's worth of guilt. And man do I feel squeaky clean!


PoopyDigs said...

I'm glad to hear that your new morning routine went well.

Niagra falls? Been there.

For the first 3 months of Ella's life, she didn't go to a sitter. Like you, we left her with grandma or with aunts. But, when she finally had to go to a "sitter", I had my DH do the drop off. I couldn't do it, as I knew I would drive myself crazy.

I did, finally, have to do it the other month. Mind you, she's been going to the sitter for quite some time, but when I had to drop her off, I cried. I guess it's just the whole handoff that gets me worked up.

It'll get better... :)

beth said...

Change is hard. I would have cried too. Did she have a good day?

Mama D said...

Yes, she had a very good day. When I picked her up she was all "Oh, you're here. Yes, I think I remember you from somewhere. I think I may be happy to see you and would be willing to let you take me home."

bon said...

Heh, yup you are a Mama! The tears, the constantly changing feelings. Relief, guilt, joy and epiphanies in the depths of despair.

...and that's what I go through on the days that I DON'T feel like running away.

plantain said...

I haven't trusted anyone but my mum to watch The Wee Snapper... she was here when he was 3-6 weeks old... and that's it.. no one else.
When I move home this weekend.. I'll be handin' that little teething snotty non-napping bundle of joy off to my mum and I'm heading out with my husband for the first time alone in 10 months. I do feel slightly guilty that this is one of the big things I'm looking forward to about moving home.(but only slightly!!).
I'm sure the first time he's actually with someone other than family... i'll be totally freaked out.

Do you find that your days go quickly being a hairdresser? Generally if you're booked up the days just seem to fly by... so that's a good thing... it'd be horrible to be in an 'office' job stuck in a cubicle and watching the clock tiiiiiiiiccckkkk-toooocckkkk really slowly towards 4pm.. so you can get back to your little 'munchkin'.

Nikkie said...

I'm glad to hear that everything went well this morning. I think I understand how you feel. I have to leave Ben tomorrow with my brother in law, and I've never done that before. We'll see how I'll react!

Dawnyel said...

I didn't think I'd cry when Cam went to school for the first time, but as I sent him off on the bus I got teary eyed. It's normal! :)

Sugarmama said...

I'm guessing you cried because of ALL those possible reasons you listed. That and that it's the beginning of a new kind of life, no? Either way, I'm sure she'll do great. Hope the new routine continues to go as smoothly, too.

Oh, and in answer to your question on my blog, the freezing cold mountain water apparently bothered the kids much, much less than it bothered me! Thanks for askin'.

Jamie said...

Congratulations on being on time, even if you were teary-eyed!

Hope it gets easier to leave her...
This whole mom thing is quite the roller coaster, isn't it?

Jenn said...

Those emotions can hit when you least expect it! I happy to hear that A had a good time. That should make it so much easier for you on Fridays to come.